Save The Rainforests by Bruce Calhoun - Guest Post
My niece was born 5 years ago, and she changed our lives and how we viewed our lives and the way we lived it. Her love for nature made me aware that all kids were passionate about it. You would see a child playing in mud, rains, snow on any kind of terrain, and you’d have to smile at their innocence. The way every leaf, every stone, every shell, each grain of sand awed them. That was the true call of nature, to fill our hearts with joy.
As adults some of us seemed to have forgotten this innocent joy. Today, nature itself is struggling to breathe, her survival is at stake. With all the modernization and cutting down of trees even for our books, we are slowly losing our forests, the biggest ecology center. Without them, the Earth wouldn’t survive for much time. Hence she has started rebelling. Now we had tornadoes and tsunamis, storms and torrential rains. Weather changes were erratic, seasons were slowly becoming unseasonal, downright moody.
I am no environmentalist or an expert in ecology. I am pretty much sure, I too contribute a lot to the carbon footprint. With continents and countries joining hands together to become eco-warriors, change in the way we use the resources of Earth is being made. It was then quite a surprise when author Bruce Calhoun approached me to write a guest post about saving rain forests.
The Guest Post
How could I not have such a post when knowledge and education was needed for me to stand upright in front of my niece and declare honestly that I too did my bit for saving this Earth, especially after she spoke to me about plastic and landfills and saving marine life.
The History of Save the Rainforest by Bruce Calhoun
In the summer of 1988 there were eight thousand fires burning in the Amazon and the world was experiencing the hottest temperatures on record. I spent that summer traveling throughout Costa Rica taking photographs of the rainforest and of rainforest destruction.
That fall I gave a slide presentation to my Dodgeville High School students. They were amazed by the beauty and biodiversity of the rainforest, but appalled by the images of deforestation. They asked me what we could do. I said we could go door to door and raise funds to purchase rainforest that would become part of the International Children’s Rainforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
And so we did, and we raised $350 – enough to buy ten acres. What happened next was extraordinary. We mailed – yes mailed – letters to 10,000 biology teachers across the United States and asked them and their students to do what we had done. That is how Save the Rainforest got started.
Now it is 33 years later and despite our efforts, and the protests of a new generation of environmentalists like Greta Thunberg, the fires are still burning and the temperature is still rising.
So what do we do now?
My answer to that question is this: We build on what has already been done, and using the tools of modern technology and our sense of urgency, expand upon programs that incentivize rainforest preservation.
One such program is supporting the efforts of indigenous communities located in the rainforest to preserve their culture and safeguard the forests under their jurisdiction. Save the Rainforests works with the Yakum in Ecuador. But they are only one of an estimated 3100 indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin.
Fortunately there are other conservation groups like Rainforest Partnerships, Conservation International and The Rainforest Trust that are committed to working with indigenous groups, as well. To support such work the parties to the Glasgow Climate Summit have just earmarked 1.7 billion dollars for this purpose
Another thing we can do, which overlaps with the above, is strengthen and implement the UN’s REDD program. This program rewards ‘good players’ who protect rather than destroys the tropical forests in their prevue. Technology comes into play here, for monetary rewards are based on measurable results and strict monitoring through satellite imaging and LIDAR.
Again, the Glasgow Climate Summit attendees have offered up billions of dollars (20 Billion) to fund REDD and similar initiatives that are intended to bring deforestation to an end by 2030.
Finally, we wean ourselves off palm oil and cheap beef; as well as a few other things like coffee that is not grown to the agroforestry standards set by such watchdogs as The Rainforest Alliance.
If we can do these things and practice sustainable ecotourism, agriculture and animal husbandry our goals to reduce carbon emissions through nature based solutions can be reached.
The launching of our new website designed by our Executive Director is the key to doing just this. So, welcome to www.savetherainforestnow.org: Enjoy its aesthetics, take heart in its message, and most important of all, join us – walk with us – in our crusade to save tropical forests and mitigate climate change. If you won’t, who will?
President of Save the Rainforest
Hope this gives us an idea on how to proceed to save our mother Earth. If you want to read more on this topic, Bruce has a book on Amazon published 22 years ago, but still relevant even today. We don’t seem to have learned, have we?
Close Calls and Foolhardy Romances: The Maturation of an Environmentalist
The autobiography, published by Lost Coast Press in 1999, is a narrative about by formative years and the founding of Save the Rainforest in 1988. In it the author states some statistics that are now outdated, but gives the reader a sense that we have not been good stewards of our planet and need to start doing the things he has said we should be doing thirty years ago. The book is actually more relevant today than ever and is available on Amazon.
Please do note these are affiliate links.
Amazon USA: https://amzn.to/3c2Jtqs
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3wF6eu3
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